Four-Ball: Eye on Tiger Woods' next move, Jordan Spieth's Masters odds

Spieth describes strategy for closing tournaments (1:30)

Jordan Spieth shares how he has improved his ball striking since last year and how he sets goals to ensure he closes out tournaments strong. (1:30)

Where does Tiger Woods go from here after his latest announcement of more missed tournaments?

And with a ninth PGA Tour victory Sunday, can anyone other than 23-year-old Jordan Spieth be considered the early Masters favorite?

Our group of golf experts wades through the debate in this week's edition of Monday Four-Ball.

1. What is Tiger Woods' next move?

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Matt Barrie: To be smarter making decisions and to be honest with himself. Anyone in his camp who thought flying to Dubai was a good idea needs to be fired. And Tiger needs to start making decisions as a 41-year old with multiple surgeries who hasn't been competitive in four years rather than a 31-year-old in his prime. If he doesn't grasp his golf limitations and mortality soon, he'll be one of the greatest career collapse tales in sports history.

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jonathan Coachman: Tiger needs to wait for the spasms to calm down and then be very honest with himself. We all know that Augusta is his favorite venue. But if he can't play until March, he will have to add a couple of tournaments that he wasn't planning on playing simply to see if he can make it through more than two days. Right now we don't know if he can. But first the spasms have to calm down.

ESPN.com senior golf analyst Michael Collins: Tiger's next move is to sit and wait. His next move will be determined by his doctor, not by how "ready" his game is.

ESPN.com senior golf writer Bob Harig: First, the hope is that his current issues are nothing more than back spasms. If that is the case, you would think he could get back to practicing the week after the Genesis Open. That would give him two full weeks of prep time if he wants to enter the Valspar Championship and three if he wants to return at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Anything short of that -- and obviously if the injury is more serious than back spasms -- makes any short-term golf plans unreasonable.

ESPN.com senior golf writer Jason Sobel: Well, for his sake, hopefully it's standing upright and walking without pain. Since that doesn't seem plausible right now, his next move should be researching/receiving any specific treatment that could alleviate this injury. That's the next step if he wants to be healthy enough to tee it up at the Masters.

2. Where does Jordan Spieth currently rank on your list of Masters favorites?

Barrie: Spieth will always be a top-five favorite at the Masters. His first year in 2014, he was in the final pairing with winner Bubba Watson. In 2015 he obliterated the course. In 2016 he should've won if not for the par-3 12th, despite not having his swing all week. He's a favorite there for the next five to seven years.

Coachman: Right at the top. Think about this: With the exception of three holes last year, Spieth has been dominant for three straight years. And his plan to focus on the United States and the PGA Tour has been a fantastic idea. He hasn't finished outside of the top 10 so far. And clearly the work he put in at home has really paid off. Spieth will be the betting favorite the day before the Masters starts. Period.

Collins: Spieth has played the Masters three times. He has a win bookended by two runner-up finishes. To say someone other than Spieth is the favorite would be extremely uneducated.

Harig: We are still eight weeks from the start of Masters week, but given his 2-1-2 finishes in three appearances at Augusta National and a strong start to 2017, you have to love his chances at the year's first major. Two months is a long time to gain and lose form, but Spieth never seems too far off his game, and he figures to be atop most favorite lists.

Sobel: I hate to pick a guy who's Flavor of the Week after the latest win, but with Rory McIlroy sidelined and Jason Day and Dustin Johnson yet to win, Spieth is right at the top of my list. I've always believed he plays better when he's angry, and he'll have a few demons to slay at Augusta this year. For some players, that would be a negative; for Spieth, I think it's extremely beneficial.

3. What do you make of Spieth's autograph rant?

Barrie: He said what most athletes and golfers want to. Thumbs up.

Coachman: I love it. There is nothing worse than this. I like the fact that he would take the time to call these guys out. There is only so much time for these guys to sign autographs, and they want to make sure true fans and kids get their autographs -- because those are authentic and real. Players don't want to sign them for resale. Hopefully more guys will do this.

Collins: I think it's an easy thing to get behind until you ask the questions: Is being a golfer a job? What exactly do you produce that contributes to society? Most importantly, how do you sign autographs for people who can't come to the tournaments you play? You tell a 10-year-old kid he can't have an autograph because his parents can't afford to go to a tournament?

Harig: I understand it completely. Spieth undoubtedly is being cheered in the locker room. This is an issue among many of the game's top players in a sport where proximity and access dwarf most others. For the most part, players try to do the right thing with autographs and seemingly can't please everyone. The only possible issue is with the adult autograph seeker who simply likes to acquire signatures for the joy of it, not to profit.

Sobel: Loved it. He didn't just speak his mind; he spoke every player's mind. There isn't a player on the PGA Tour who hasn't witnessed adult autograph seekers obviously hunting and gathering for their eBay collection. The fact that these guys then reacted rudely to Spieth in front of children should garner a reaction -- and I'm glad it did.

4. True or false: Riviera's famous 10th is a great golf hole.

Barrie: Statistically, it's the hardest par-4 less than 350 yards on tour. So many decisions, head games and tests of golf guts go into the tee shot and approach. The best part is that it starts the back nine. It can either halt or ignite momentum pretty quickly. Give me the 10th at Riviera in bunches and bogeys.

Coachman: False. I love drivable par-4s, but this hole has to have a perfect drive to keep it on the green. And if you lay up, there is no guarantee you will birdie. I am just not a fan, and I don't think that most players are, either.

Collins: True. A risk/reward par-4?! If Jack Nicklaus calls it great, there is no way in heaven or on earth I'm going to disagree with him. Current players love it and hate it. That's what a great hole does.

Harig: True. It's a shame there are not more like it. Time and again, the 10th stifles and frustrates the best, even though it is a short hole that is often drivable. Therein lies its beauty, as that it is often not the smart play, proving once again that length is not always the greatest challenge.

Sobel: True! It's a thinking man's short par-4, and while the narrow green might be a little too devilish, it's still a thing of beauty. In today's era, when so many courses are combating becoming obsolete by adding length, I wish more course designers would take a cue from Riv and understand that size doesn't always matter.